Online Triduum in honour of St Clement Hofbauer in English from 12th to 14th March


We, the Redemptorist family, celebrate the feast of St. Clement Maria Hofbauer on the 15th of March every year. Therefore, to celebrate the feast in a meaningful way, the Triduum invites us to reflect on the life and ministry of a great Saint. The Triduum will be preached by Fr. Ivel Mendanha, CSsR, General Consultor, for the preparation of the feast. So, each of these days, in preparation for the feast, we will reflect on the following themes. We reflect on his life, then on his Faith and his willingness to do God’s will at all times, on important aspects of prayer and trust in divine providence along with some important virtues and finally, on the feast day itself, St. Clement, a Mystic in Action.

St Clement was an amazing Redemptorist, a baker, priest, preacher, member of the Redemptorist Congregation and the city patron of Vienna. He is a saint who inspires courage today. Courage to proclaim faith, courage to take up new ventures, courage to face tribulations, courage to stand up for the truth and what is right and courage to give all because of a contagious love for Christ and his people.

Day 1 (12th March): Life of St. Clement Mary Hofbauer

Today the remains of St. Clement are in the same church of Maria am Gestade. Hofbauer was beatified on 29th January 1888 by Pope Leo XIII. and then finally canonised by Pius X on 20th May 1909. He was named patron saint of Vienna by Pope St. Pius X in 1914. “Courage! God is in charge!” This was the advice that Clement gave to Fr Passerat, one of his companions in Warsaw when Passerat was overwhelmed with sickness and deaths of his companion Redemptorists and the failures in the mission. Clement himself lived by this phrase, “Courage! God is in charge!”

Read the complete text on the life of St Clement from the PDF File;

Day 2 (13th March): Faith and the Will of God

The real point of departure in the spirituality of Clement is his faith. Everything springs from this. It was the mother of the Saint who inculcated in him his clear and profound understanding of the mysteries of the faith. But Clement himself during the course of his life developed this deep sense of faith with which he approached God and Jesus Christ. Clement, in his preaching spoke of God, of his love for people as revealed in the Incarnation and Redemption of Jesus Christ, but he also spoke of the Eucharist, devotion of Mary and the Saints, confession, and time and again he returned to the theme of “The Church, its authority, it’s head”.

The efficacy of his preaching can be attributed to the power of his faith. “This was almost incarnate in him; it was manifested in every line of his face, in every movement of his body.” His sermons, said his listeners, were inspiring acts of faith. He was the “hero of the faith.” Clement found the sources of his faith in the Gospel which he read and meditated on frequently.

Faith for Hofbauer was not first and foremost a rational understanding of the Christian articles of faith, but rather a surrendering to God, a friendly connection to the person of the Saviour.

The Will of God: Clement searched for the Will of God in order to fulfil it. He discovered this in the will of the Church and of the Pope. Whether at Warsaw or Vienna, through whatever adversity he was able to see God’s will and through the challenge and sought to respond to God’s will for him and the Congregation. Clement also sought the will of God in the Constitutions and in the decisions of his superiors.

Read the article from the PDF File:

Day 3 (14th March): Providence of God, Prayer, and the Virtues

Confidence in God and in Jesus Christ: Obedience to the will of God was always accompanied by confidence in God and in Jesus Christ. If we are faithful in carrying out the will of God, this will help us in our difficulties: “God never fails to assist those who cooperate faithfully with grace.”

Prayer: Unlike St. Alphonsus, Clement did not write a treatise on prayer. However, prayer has an important place in his life and spirituality. We must, first of all, note the place that liturgical prayer had at St. Benno’s and with the Ursulines of Vienna, celebrated in a manner peculiar to the northern countries, with special emphasis on Masses with music; we are in the age of Mozart and Beethoven. One of the sayings of Clement showed the meaning he attached to divine worship, “God does not need our adoration nor our service, it’s true, but we need it.” Father Srna claimed that Hofbauer was a great man of prayer “because prayer was the nourishment and refreshment of his heart.” Clement also taught his penitents to follow the same life of recollection and prayer. Dorothea Schlegel describes it at length in a letter to her sons. Among his favourite prayers was the recitation of the Rosary.

Devotion to Mary: This is one of the characteristics of his spirituality. In his preaching, he always spoke of Mary with veneration and tenderness; from an early age, he had this devotion. He joyfully visited the sanctuaries of Mary, for example Altöting. While staying in Vienna, he only left the town to visit the sanctuaries of the Virgin. He went on foot twice to Maria-Schossberg in Hungary and once to Maria Taferl. His favourite pilgrimage was to Maria-Zell, where he went once a year.

The Virtues of patience, humility, poverty, and mortification are seen clearly in St Clement. Humour and Kindness: Clement was not a sad person. He was jovial, a good storyteller with a sense of Humour. Clement teaches each of us that once we place our trust in the Lord, the Lord takes care of us. This trust is nurtured through prayer, which is our daily conversation with the Lord, which nourishes our relationship with him. Mary, the Mother of Mercy, intercedes for us, her children so that we can grow in the virtues that make us more and more like her Son Jesus, in patience, humility, humour and kindness. This is a holy life and it is for all of us to grow into.

Read more from the PDF:

Feast Day (15th March): St Clement, the Apostle, the Mystic in action.

The great project which God had entrusted to Clement was to establish the congregation beyond the Alps; he would consecrate his whole life to this, all his activity in Warsaw, his journeys in southern Germany, and in Vienna in the midst of police harassment. The perpetual mission at St. Benno’s in Warsaw is a clear example of the dynamism of Clement. This consisted of morning and evening prayer, Masses, sermons in many languages, devotions, meditations on the Way of the cross, and Visits to the Blessed Sacrament. “The Gospel must be preached anew”, he used to say in relation to the religious situation of his time. He preached simply and popularly. It is worth noting that there was a large social-concern component in Clement’s pastoral activity: In Warsaw, he took over an orphanage, set up schools and went begging for his children. In Vienna he used often trudge out to the suburbs to help the poor.

With regard to Clement’s pastoral activity in St. Benno’s, one can make three assertions: First, Clement strove with his broad vision not only for the salvation of the individual’s soul, but he was also concerned with the well-being of the entire person. He regarded education as a missionary service with broad and long-term effects. Christian education is catechism. Second, he blazed new ground in that he took laypeople and their honest work for the sake of the Church seriously. Clement and his confreres systematically formed laypeople for an active role. Third, Clement believed in the international character and the union of all people. He was a man with a catholic heart who felt and lived with the whole world. His homeland was a border country where blood was mixed and peoples of different nations encountered one another.

Read more from the PDF File:

The daily reflection will be uploaded on YouTube the day before (beginning on March 11th) so that people can view it and pray with us at any time.

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